St. Louis Rams vs. Cleveland Browns
Saturday, 8/23/14, 8:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread: Cleveland -3
Current Betting Line: Cleveland -2.5
Opening Total: 42.5
Current Total: 43
Odds Courtesy of 5Dimes
St. Louis has dropped both of its 2014 preseason games, including a 21-7 setback to the Green Bay Packers as 2.5-point home favorites last week, while going UNDER the betting total of 43. Rams quarterback Sam Bradford is looking to build off his exhibition debut—completing 9 of 12 passes for 101 yards and a touchdown in two possessions of work. Head coach Jeff Fisher expects the starters to play at least through the first half in this affair, as many will likely sit out the exhibition finale.
The Rams have yet to break loose in the running game, as starter Zac Stacy had just six yards on six attempts last week, while Benny Cunningham and Tre Mason combined for 54 yards on 17 carries. St. Louis hopes to do a better job in creating holes for its running backs in this affair, with the return of left tackle Jake Long, which will move rookie Greg Robinson to the guard spot on that side of the line. On the other side of the football, Fisher has stated that linebacker James Laurinaitis could return to action after missing significant time with an ankle injury.
Cleveland has fallen in defeat in each of its exhibition contests, including a 24-23 setback to the Washington Redskins as two-point road underdogs on Monday NIght Football, while going OVER the betting total of 41.5. The Browns’ offensive performances have been unacceptable in the early going, with starting quarterback Brian Hoyer going a combined 8-for-20 for 108 yards, while the unit has also gone 0-for-7 on third-down with him on the field. Backup Johnny Manziel continues to struggle with the playbook and has lacked leadership at times since being drafted out of Texas A&M.
The Browns’ offensive line will due battle with arguably the best defensive front in football in this affair, but they may be up for the challenge, which can’t be ignored when looking over the pro football odds page. Cleveland’s starting group absolutely dominated Detroit’s solid defensive line in the opener, but took a step back versus Washington.
Sports bettors will likely back the Browns due to Fisher being 36-36-2 ATS over the course of his career in the preseason.
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